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Restoration Standards and Guidelines for Historic Buildings

Jeffrey Havelin, PE

The Secretary of the Interior is responsible for establishing professional standards and providing advice on the preservation and protection of all cultural resources listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, apply to all proposed development grant-in-aid projects assisted through the National Historic Preservation Fund, and are intended to be applied to a wide variety of resource types, including buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts. They address four treatments: Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration, and Reconstruction. The treatment Standards, developed in 1992, were codified as 36 CFR Part 68 in the July 12, 1995 Federal Register (Vol. 60, No. 133).

Rather than maintaining and preserving a building as it has evolved over time, the expressed goal of the Standards for Restoration and Guidelines for Restoring Historic Buildings is to make the building appear as it did at a particular—and most significant—time in its history. As opposed to other treatments, the scope of work in Restoration can include removal of features from other periods; missing features from the restoration period may be replaced, based on documentary and physical evidence, using traditional materials or compatible substitute materials. The final guidance emphasizes that only those designs that can be documented, as having been built should be re-created in a restoration project.

This (five-hour) course will be specifically based on the portion of those standards and guidelines, which concern “Restoration” of historic buildings. Restoration is defined as the act or process of accurately depicting the form, features, and character of a property as it appeared at a particular period of time by means of the removal of features from other periods in its history and reconstruction of missing features from the restoration period. The limited and sensitive upgrading of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and other code-required work to make properties functional is appropriate within a restoration project.

Please note that The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties are only regulatory for projects receiving federal grant-in-aid funds; otherwise, the Standards and Guidelines are intended only as general guidance for work on any historic building.

This course is based entirely on the selected “Restoration” portion of The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring & Reconstructing Historic Buildings published by the U.S. Department of the Interior-National Park Service. This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials. You will be quizzed on the attached document in its entirety.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.